Island Air said Tuesday that David Pflieger will take over as president and CEO of the Hawaii interisland airline, effective Oct. 1.
Pflieger, whose experience includes senior leadership roles at low-cost regional carriers, also will join the company’s board of directors. He succeeds Paul Casey, who will assume an advisory role to the board.
To join Island Air, Pflieger is leaving his current position as president and CEO of Silver Airways, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
At the company, he oversaw the launch of the airline as an independent regional carrier, operating a fleet of 33 aircraft flying 170 daily flights to 38 destinations within the U.S. and to the Bahamas, and the establishment of partnerships and commercial agreements with several major U.S. and international airlines.
Prior to Silver Airways, Pflieger led the financial turnaround and rebranding of Fiji’s national carrier, Air Pacific, into Fiji Airways, introducing a new fleet of Airbus A330s. While there, Pflieger also served as the chairman of Fiji’s Tourism Board.
Prior to moving to Fiji, Pflieger was a founding officer of Virgin America, serving as general counsel and senior vice president of government affairs. Before Virgin America, he was the vice president of operations at Song, Delta Air Lines’ low-cost carrier, and served as Delta’s director of flight safety and operations attorney.
At both Delta and Virgin America, Pflieger flew as a Boeing 767, B757, B737 and Airbus A320 pilot.
Born in Seoul, Korea, Plieger served in the U.S Air Force and Air Force Reserve as a B-52 instructor pilot and C-130 aircraft commander. He has a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a law degree and an MBA from Emory University.
Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison, who owns 98 percent of the island of Lanai, hired Casey,who had been president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines from 1997 to 2002, when he bought Island Air in February 2013.
“We want to thank Paul Casey for his invaluable service to Island Air,” said Island Air Chairman Paul Marinelli in a statement. “Over the past 18 months he has stabilized the airline and created a strong foundation for Island Air’s future.”